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News > France

French Gov't Budget, Actions To Tackle Femicides Falls Short of Expectations

  • Rally against

    Rally against "femicide", gender-based violence targeted at women, in Paris, France, July 6, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 September 2019

A total of 101 women were murdered by their partners since the start of the year, rights association "Feminicides Par Compagnons Ou Ex" said.

French women's rights groups lamented that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented Tuesday a package of emergency measures to combat sexist violence without the adequate budget to implement them properly.

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"Women who stay with a violent partner is resigned to it, mostly due to the lack of financial and material means to leave with their children," Philippe said. 

The government has allotted US$5.5 million to create 1,000 new localities for housing victims of domestic violence, the premier announced in a national forum to tackle the issue falling short of expectations from rights groups.

A total of 101 women were murdered by their partners since the start of the year, rights association Feminicides Par Compagnons Ou Ex reported. The group also called on French authorities to take a new approach by removing violent men from their partners and families, rather than women and children being the ones to move to shelters. 

In July last year, a group of 20 women's organizations complained in an open letter about the massive cuts in the governmental budget, about US$10 million, assigned to address gender violence in the country.

The French PM said an audit will also be launched to identify dysfunctions within police services in dealing with victims' complaints.

They are 100. Murdered because they are women. Tonight we named them. We are asking the state to wake up: we need means and public policies to tackle it.

Lucien Douib, the father of a victim, condemned the dismissal of numerous complaints sent to the police before his daughter Julie was murdered. The 34-year-old was shot by her partner last March.

"Every day I am crying for her one more time, and I would like to change that because she filed a complaint, five, six times," he said.

"I filed a complaint myself for murder threats, five, six times. We had been listened to - this is true and false. We didn't know why, how. We were warned three days before her death that all the complaints have been dismissed. I don't understand why."

The national forum launched on Sept. 3 with the creation of a new helpline 3919 – after the date of launch, for victims of domestic violence. Dubbed as the "Grenelle", the forum gathers experts, associations, and government members in working group sessions until Nov. 25.

Ahead of the launch, non-profit organizations and collectives expressed their hopes for a more ambitious plan and called for a budget of US$550 million to US$1.1 billion.

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